The destruction of pyrotechnic waste remains a hazardous activity; in France, this activity alone accounts for 15% of all accidents arising within the pyrotechnics industry, as catalogued in the ARIA database. Waste treatment steps are carried out on materials that in many cases are more highly sensitive or whose hazards are more minimally characterised. This waste may stem from scrap, defective or expired products or “stimulated” materials capable of triggering sudden fires, deflagrations or detonations. Therefore, the steps focusing on such materials require extreme caution and attention.
The summary contained herein relies on an analysis of 150 accidents that occurred in France and elsewhere, as extracted from the ARIA base, that involve classified facilities. Given the data available, this synthesis is not intended to provide actual statistical findings, but should still allow for drawing lessons on the risks related to these destruction operations, presented via three major stages: pyrotechnic waste collection and transport (27 accidents), storage (19 accidents), and treatment (104 accidents).
Published in 2010